The best manicures in London - Salons, spas and nail bars

See the Bazaar directory of the capital's must-visit manicure spots

"I believe in manicures… I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls," said Audrey Hepburn, of the sentiment that perfectly polished nails make us feel instantly more pulled together and confident. Nail Table With Dust Collector

The best manicures in London - Salons, spas and nail bars

To appreciate a fabulous professional blow-dry or the results of a radiance-enhancing facial you have to look in the mirror; yet to reap the uplifting benefits of a manicure you simply have to glance down at your hands (something we do increasingly, thanks to our myriad devices). With this in mind, we made it our mission to find the best spots in the capital for manicures that look ultra chic and go the distance.

Whether you are in need of a quick fix or want something a little more indulgent, here is Bazaar's list of the best London salons, spas and nail bars to visit – from central to the suburbs.

Fans of Cowshed's luxurious hand, home and body range may already be familiar with its array of sophisticated London spots. Located within East London's buzziest streets, its Shoreditch House spa ranks among our favourite self-care destinations, complete with an elegant farmhouse-style treatment space and indulgent private rooms.

Here you can enjoy a generous menu of treatments including lava shell massages, reflexology and, of course, a signature Cowshed manicure.

Situated on Windmill Street, throwing distance from the buzz of Oxford Circus, this cute and welcoming nail bar is the perfect way to begin (or end) a weekend shopping spree. There's a classic range of services on offer (including gel and acrylic) and a coffee bar for your post-treatment catch-up. Even better, you can book easily online via Treatwell.

Best for... a weekend catch-up Rachel's Nails and Coffee manicure, from £28

This bustling beauty destination is one of Notting Hill's trendiest nail spots. Known for detailed art and playful designs, this is the perfect location for a swirls, spots or a seasonal mani. What's more, the space is complete with facial, lash and brow, and make-up bars, allowing you to tick off your beauty checklist all in one day.

Best for... a one-stop beauty destination Classic manicure from £40

Full to the brim with industry-leading brands like OPI, CND, Essie and Vinylux, Eighty-8 is the idyllic spot for finding the exact perfect shade for your late summer manicure. Situated between Chelsea and South Kensington, here you can enjoy a detailed deluxe manicure, speedy swift polish and everything in-between.

Best for... a variety of shades Classic manicure, from £25

Just a 5-minute walk from Oxford Circus and Goodge Street stations, this pretty beauty location offers durable, flattering manicures in just about every shade you can imagine. Think manicures and pedicures, acrylics and gel extensions, all complete to the same consistently tidy standard - and its nail art speaks for itself.

Best for... a flattering nail shape Classic manicure, from £30

Manicures for the modern age: at Townhouse you get in-salon technology (including a 'nailfie' photo booth for your social media) and timely treatments, plus the classics. Their speciality, though, is sophisticated nail art.

With spots spanning from Liverpool Street to Kensington, the beloved Townhouse manicure is available throughout London and beyond. In fact, the sleek nail destination now boasts 19 locations throughout the UK.

The nail bar has also settled into the 5th floor of Harrods, with a menu of striking signature nail-art treatments alongside a couple of ultra-decadent exclusives. For the ultimate indulgence, book The Manicure: a 90-minute extravaganza involving Chantecaille products, an extended hand and arm massage, and even pair of gold eye masks to slip on while you switch off.

Best for... UK-wide locations (and luxury) Townhouse Signature Manicure, from £40

BOOK NOW Nestled in the heart of Islington, Pre- is your one-stop destination for an all-round luxury pamper. With a generous menu of facials, waxing and brow and lash treatments, this modern beauty hub offers everything from diamond-tip microdermabrasion to head-to-toe hair removal, including a lavish curation of indulgent nail treatments.

Whether you're looking for a quick colour fix or intricate nail art, a rejuvenating hand massage or a glossy gel pedicure, Pre-'s extended catalogue of prettifying services, which feature the highest performance products from The Gel Bottle, Nailberry, Le Manucurist, and Grown Alchemist, will guarantee you nail this season's mani-pedi trends and leave the salon looking chic and neat.

Best for... The full works Pre- Trademark Manicure, from £32

Iris Avenue's cosy Goodge Street salon was an immediate win with the Bazaar beauty team. Whether you're popping in for an express mani on your lunch break or are planning long-overdue pamper hour with your girls, this warm and friendly location on the doorstep of Central London comes fully equipped with hot drinks, cocktails, mocktails and smoothies, all tied up with an vibrant Iris Avenue bow.

Best for... a coffee and a catch-up Iris Avenue Manicure from £25

If you’re looking for a mani that doesn’t cut corners, we’d beeline to Carnaby Street for a thorough set of So Shell nails. Cuticle care is at the forefront of these hyper-detailed manicures, with every treatment coming with the same impeccably tidy finish. Express manicures begin at sixty minutes here, with microscopic attention and perfectionism applied throughout every shaping, buffing and painting step.

The atmosphere in this salon is familiar and cosy, with a soft seaside palette and only a few clients in at any one time; it's hard to believe that it's mere moments from the heart of London's shopping hub.

Best for... pristine cuticle care Basic Manicure, from £40

Looking for a new lunchtime mani spot? London Grace's generous offering of London-wide salons are best known for quick, refined treatments that don't compromise on finish.

Whether you're tied to a tight deadline or want to enjoy a quiet beverage after work, this coffee shop turned cocktail bar turned nail salon is perfect for enjoying some me-time while you're pampered.

Best for... A super speedy mani Slap Dash Manicure, from £14

This recently renovated beauty destination is a one-stop dream-house for hair, brows, massage and nails. Pitched in the middle of London's bustling George Street, Gielly Green has swiftly garnered a reputation for the talented hands that work within it, not to mention, a consistently high standard for customer service.

Whether you're looking for an elegant set of traditional French tips or vibrant polygel extensions, its long lasting treatments are expressive and personalised, without wreaking havoc on your natural nails.

Best for... Basic manicure, from £45

Reecey Roo's, in Camberwell, is making a name for itself on the nail scene. The mani/pedi bar offers all the traditional services, but for something a little different opt for nail art – their experts will treat your nails like a painter's canvas

Best for… South London locals Reecey Roo's Manicure, from £15

Whether you're looking for precision nail art, tidy french tips or acrylic nail extensions, Paint Nails London provide professional, clean and neat manicures - we particularly recommend their BIAB nail treatment which works to strengthen and protect your nails beneath your polish, especially if you're a gel mani regular.

You'll find Paint Nails London inside The Beauty Club in Oxford Circus, home to Edy London's iconic lash extensions, a full range of hair services and a cocktail bar, so it's easy to make yourself at home for the day here. Settle in and enjoy a coffee or a cocktail, a casual atmosphere and professional treatments provided by pros.

Best for... neat nail art Classic Manicure from £30

Offering everything from a plant-rich café to an extensive medi-spa (and, of course, a nail salon) Linnean has swiftly become one of Battersea's prized beauty spots.

Whether you opt for a minimalist Naked Manicure or a Green Flash pedicure, care and condition takes priority over gels and nail-art here. Each enlivening treatment is delivered using ‘non-toxic’ gels and 90% natural, vegan and cruelty free polishes, for a manicure that not only looks luxury, but that feels better after application.

Settle in with a coffee for a solo pampering session or enjoy a cosy girl's day with a group manicure or a table for tea.

Best for... care, conditioning and a slice of cake Linnaean Naked Manicure from £30

Seated in The Londoner's exquisite spa, AMA recently launched its second stunning manicure spot in the heart of Leicester Square. Co-founded by session and celebrity manicurist Ama Quashie, this deluxe new nail bar offers the same opulent offering as its Brixton sister location, tucked cosily next to the hotel's pool, salon and treatment rooms.

Either drop in for a chic and convenient tidy up in the Centre of London's hustle and bustle, or make an afternoon of it browsing The Retreat's generous menu of blow dries, massages and facials.

Best for... an unwinding afternoon AMA Manicure from £30

For the times when a girl needs a glam squad, you can find yours at the Hershesons salons in Belgravia and Fitzrovia, where DryBy therapists will nail a manicure (and pedicure) between hair and beauty appointments. There are facials from the likes of The Light Salon, Murad and Sarah Bradden, and threading with the famously good Suman Brows. Your call.

Best for… a one-stop-shop Hershesons DryBy manicure from £25

BOOK NOW If you're a regular Brick Lane wanderer or avid polish collector, you may already be familiar with Shoreditch Nails and its covetable high-fashion hues. So much more than just a nail spot, Shoreditch Nails is a hub for its East London community, self-described as "a space for creativity, a centre for self-care, and a place to work and grow."

From the impeccable attention to detail to the incredibly welcoming atmosphere, we'd pin this studio as one of our top East London nail salons. And with every stylish shade named after a beloved London locations, its impossible not to fall in love with (and inevitably go home with) one of its eco-friendly colours.

Best for... East London locals Shoreditch Nails Manicure from £32

If you're looking to make an occasion of it, Duck & Dry's Mayfair offers the epitome of pre-party pampering. From deluxe manicures to stylish blow-dries, treat yourself to a prettifying treatment followed up by a glass of bubbles at the cosy cocktail and prosecco bar.

Even the prices are joy-inducing, with an express manicure at your fingertips for just £20.

Best for... a pre-party treat Duck & Dry Express Polish Manicure from £20

If you’re after something a little more thorough than the usual file and polish, Margaret Dabbs offers the ultimate treatment menu. The brand's classic manicure involves flawless filing and buffing, as well as a hand and arm massage. As for the main event? It can be performed with CND gel or Dabbs’ own nail-kind varnish line, which is unbelievably glossy and hardwearing. The manicurists here are total perfectionists – not to mention some of the loveliest around – so expect an all-round flawless experience.

While you're there, don't miss out on the Medical Pedicure: it's a must-book for long-neglected feet, or for anyone with a specific concern. Performed by a qualified podiatrist, this forensically thorough treatment involves a foot health analysis, fling and softening with advanced tools, surgical removal of any calluses (should you need it) and a perfect buff and file to finish. It’s a complete overhaul for feet in dire need.

Best for... nail health and perfect painting Margaret Dabbs Supreme Manicure, £63 and Medical Pedicure, from £90

Previously situated in Harrods, Urban Retreat now has its own sprawling Knightsbridge townhouse to call home. A complete pampering paradise, the nail bar is just one reason to plan your visit. Settle in for a manicure with one of their experts, where you can even design your own nail art, then explore the rest of the house – there's everything from a hair salon to a piercing studio inside.

Best for... a weekend with friends Urban Retreat CND manicure, from £30

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The best manicures in London - Salons, spas and nail bars

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